Recently, I had to tell a musician friend over and over that their mistake on stage will not signal the end of their life nor the ruination of a fruitful career. I laughed and made jokes to lighten their mood and hopefully convey this truth. But, in the end, I wonder if it worked. Was I successful in my efforts or are they still sitting somewhere pining over that one less than perfect moment in life that’s now long gone?
I checked out two performances this past week, Baby Do Brasil last week, Sunday and Alexander O’Neil this past saturday. Check out the clips and note how two performances, imperfect in some ways, were still perfect in the ways that matter.
In fact, Alexander O’Neil said something that night that struck me as both simple and profound. “I don’t take (all this) too seriously.” He joked, as he pointed to the stage and talked about his performance and career.
Some people may always disagree with this way of thinking, but I have to say, I have come to agree completely!
I used to beat myself up if I did something that I didn’t like on stage. One night, while singing, I lost my voice completely. I was upset and embarrassed. But it helped me to put some of the little, inconsequential faux pas in perspective. I look at perfection differently now, there’s a time for it and there’s also a time when it can be boring!
Now anything short of losing my voice is redeemable. These days if I hit a note that’s a bit off, or crack a little, I say to myself, “oh, alright… that happened. Let’s make this work for me.” and then I go on to relax and deliver for the rest of the song.
My rationale is this, while no one likes them, mistakes happen to the best of us. So, you can’t let one mistake keep you from having an amazing performance. Especially, when your mistake is probably unrecognizable to most and only ‘wrong’ in your eyes, because you meant to do something else.
Forgive yourself, then move on. Enjoy your show, so that others might! After all, “it’s not brain surgery,” as Alexander O’Neil says.
***Disclaimer*** This advice is not be used by brain surgeons, or any other surgeons, for that matter! Sorry.
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